Brits get ski and board fever

24th February 2014, by Abi Butcher

The Ski Centre at Hemel Hempstead has had a surge in visitors since the Olympics

The Ski Centre at Hemel Hempstead has had a surge in visitors since the Olympics

Brits have gone ski and snowboard mad since the start of the Winter Olympics. Snow centres up and down the UK are reporting a massive spike in interest following snowboarder Jenny Jones’s bronze medal win.

Skiplex in Reading, Chiswick and Basingstoke has noticed traffic to its website has increased by 160% and reports that its centres are “heaving”.

“It’s been fantastic to see such an increase of interest in skiing and snowboarding since the Winter Olympics. Following the success of Jenny Jones we had an influx of calls from parents whose children had been inspired by her success and who wished to learn,” said Cordelia Kerr from Skiplex.

The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead said visitors to its website last week were triple the normal levels, with double the number of calls over the past week.

Jenny Jones’s historic bronze medal win caused the biggest spike — with a 63% increase in calls to The Snow Centre on the day of her win, and four times the usual number of visitors on the website.

Dorset Snowsport Centre at Parkdean’s Warmwell Holiday Park in Weymough has also reported a “surge” in snowboard and Snowflex slope enquiries. The previous weekend Manchester’s Chill Factore was at full capacity, and the Swadlincote Ski and Snowboard Centre in Derbyshire ran out of snowboards to hire.

This would be a popular time of year anyway for ski and snowboard centres, with half term and the ski season in full swing, but all say the Winter Olympics and Jenny Jones’s bronze medal in the snowboard slopestyle has caused a huge surge in interest.

Ian Brown, managing director of The Snow Centre said: “It’s great to see so many people inspired to try Winter Sports! The Snow Centre Team are looking forward to introducing many more adults and juniors to fun on the snow and are eager to support experienced skiers and snowboarders progress their Snowsports skills further.”

The spike has also been helped by Snowsport England’s GO SKI GO BOARD campaign to get more people to participate in winter sports.



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